On December 16, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told members of the Muslim congregation at Washington D.C.’s Masjid Muhammad mosque that “dem­agogues” are adding to divisiveness in the country, while acting in “shame­ful” ways following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. A candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders said “Let me begin by stating the obvious: there is enormous anxiety and fear in this country.” He added, “Our people are deeply concerned—justly so—about the threats of international terrorism.”
 
Sanders was joined at a table with religious leaders from the Washington area, including Imam Talib Shareef, Rev. Re­gin­ald Green, Rabbi Batya Steinhauf, and Chaplain Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad of the Veterans Affairs Department. Also at the table was the only Muslim member of Congress, House Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN).
 
 
Sanders gave a lecture on instances of bigotry in history. “It’s no secret that throughout the world and in our own country, we have seen centuries of bigotry and intimidation, sometimes with unspeakable results.” Exemplifying racism and bigotry, Sanders listed the Holocaust, Bosnia and Rwanda.
 
Sanders also denounced “demagogues” and their rhetoric concerning the entry of Muslims to the U.S. “Now, at this mo­ment with all of the fears and anxi­et­ies people have about ter­ror­ism and about the eco­nomy, there are dem­agogues out there: people like Don­ald Trump, who are once again try­ing to di­vide us up,” he said. “They want us to be­lieve that people from Mex­ico com­ing in­to this coun­try are rap­ists and crim­in­als. They want us to be­lieve that the av­er­age Muslim is a ter­ror­ist.”

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